To test the effects of using preference weights for activities of daily living (ADL) outcome measures derived from different sources, data from a large study of the outcomes of postacute care (PAC study) were analyzed using two different weightings for the ADL measures. Both were developed using the same magnitude estimation technique; one from a panel of long-term care experts (the expert rating system); the other from a group of elderly Medicare beneficiaries (the consumer rating system). Neither group was directly involved in the PAC study. Although ADL scores generated by both rating systems were highly correlated prior to hospitalization and at hospital discharge, the consumer and expert rating systems generated significantly different functional outcomes measured by the change of ADL scores with a few exceptions. Compared to the consumer rating system, the expert rating system generated a greater change in functional outcomes at each of three follow-up time points after hospital discharge. This study suggests that the choice of weights for ADL items is important.
- Postacute care